Winter’s freeze is thawing away and it’s time to start thinking about those warm weather activities. Whether it’s a beach trip for Memorial Day weekend, a summer drive to visit family or a road trip with friends to that music festival, just about everyone has a reason to hit the road in the next few months. Here’s what you need to check before you get behind the wheel for a long drive:

  • Headlights & Taillights: Double-check your headlights and taillights to make sure they are all working properly. If the interior part of your headlights is fogged over, consider replacing the covers for better headlight strength.
  • AC Air Flow: The last thing you want on a summer road trip is a vehicle with bad air conditioning. Check your air flow from your vents. If it’s not blowing out like it should, you may need to remove an obstruction or replace a belt.
  • Tires: Do a personal inspection of your tires before you get on the road. Make sure that each tire has the appropriate amount of tread left. A good way to check tread is placing a quarter upside down in the tread. If the head of George Washington can be seen, then you need to consider new tires. Also, check the tire pressure of each tire to ensure it matches the recommend amount listed in your owner’s manual.
  • Filters: Check the air and cabin filters. Dirty filters don’t remove air impurities efficiently, which can cause engine trouble and reduced air quality for you and your passengers.
  • Fluid Levels: Take a look at all of your fluid level before you hit the road. Most oil change shops offer free fluid top-off. Double-check your oil level as well.
  • Battery: Check the terminals and charge strength of your vehicle’s battery. A dead car battery is one of the most frustrating (and most preventable) vehicle problems.
  • Vehicle Preparedness: Do you have the necessary items stowed in your vehicle to make sure you’re ready for any number of emergency scenarios? Check out our handy list of 10 Important Items to Keep in Your Vehicle.
  • Your Patience: Lastly, there are going to be other drivers on the road who frustrate you, irritating traffic congestion and other unforeseen situations. Stay patient and drive defensively to keep you, your passengers and your vehicle safe.